The Republic of San Marino

The fifth smallest country and the oldest, San Marino was just 30kilometers away from Rimini. As there were no train stations in the country, we rented a motorbike and drove up the hill to the fortress city and capital of the country, which was also called San Marino.

The fortress was on a steep hill overlooking Italy. Driving up we were surpassed by Ferraris and Lamborghinis, so it seemed to us that a lot of people living there were quite rich. When we finally got to the top and looked down it became clear to us why. The view from San Marino down over Italy was absolutely stunning.

We just walked around and had a look at shops, museums and restaurants. Almost all shops were selling knives and airguns and it is still not clear to us why. We grabbed a pizza to go and took some photos of the streets, churches and monuments before heading back to our hostel in Rimini. When crossing the border to Italy it was hard to believe that we had seen all the highlights of a whole country in just one day.

Rimini on the Italian Riviera

Rimini, known as the city with a thousand hotels is located in the middle of the Italian Riviera and is a popular holiday destination both for Italians and other Europeans.

During the time that we were there, a festival called Rimini Beach Festival was going on so there was plenty of food stands, music concerts and people who were there to visit. The 15 kilometer long beach was full of people in sunchairs, playing volleyball or renting out kayaks, wind surfboards and scooters.

Rimini is also the Italian city which is closest to San Marino so frequent buses run, there costing 5€ and taking 45 minutes each way.

Although the city also has some historical monuments and a nice little city center we spent most of our time at Sunflower hostel, walking along the beach and driving around on our rental scooter.

Interrailing through Firenze and Bologna

The streets of Florence/Firenze

For me interrailing is the best of what life can offer. You can go out in a city, pick a random train to go sleep on and then wake up in another countre. Me and my friend Sondre had bought a global pass and were ready to use this to the max.

First off after Rome was Firenze. We got off walked around the city center to see the fortress and churches that the city is famous for and got on the train again after a couple of hours. Next up was Bologna, where we did the same spontaneous walk around before we went shopping for food and made a picnic in the park.

We did not have planned to visit either of these palaces, but interrail ticket gives you the flexibility of just jumping off the train quite spontaneously and getting on the next one once you feel like it. Quite a genious concept!

The entrance to the park, next to the Bologna Train Station.

The Open Air Museum Called Rome

Rome is a city I had wanted to visit my whole life. It used to be the center of the coolest empire in all of human history and now a lot of the remains still stand tall in the middle of the city. One of these was one of the seven new wonders of the World, called Coloseo where gladiators had been fighting a couple of thousand years ago. Another was the Piazza Venecian, which was a huge white marble building with fountains, statues and pillars. Quite some majestic sights!

All these sights were easily reached with the metero as there was a stop right outside our hostel called the Yellow. The hostel had also been rated among the top 10 party hostels in the World, so the happy hour and live music there lead us to meet some Australians who took us with them to the Rome Ice Club. Being 37°C during the day and still hot and humid at night it was a pleasant experience walking into -5°C with a cape and a drink made into an ice glass.

Of course we also did our compulsory visit to the Holy See, a.k.a the Vatican. The smallest country in the World and the home to Francis the pope. We went to the St. Peters Square where the pope does his speaches and almost felt the holy precence watching the fountains and buildings lit up at night. Rome has been like walking through an open air museum which makes it one of the coolest cities that I have ever been to!

Facing my Greek Prejudice in Corfu

Since Greece is the number one package holiday country for Norwegians and many other nationalities, I had imagined people fighting over sunchairs, walking drunkenly around at daytime and people demanding that everyone should speak their language. Luckily it wasn’t at all so. Sure the tourist beach we went to called Palaiokastritsa was a bit crowded, but it was all for a reason! The waters here has the same blue color as the waters in the Maldives, the food here is amazing (greek salads with feta, halloumi and graviera sakanakis- yum!) and even though prices are several times higher than Albania it is still pretty reasonable.

I spent a whole day by myself walkinig on the west coast of Corfu and found my favorite little gem called Dolphin Beach. Here there were very little people, no sun chairs and just quiet turquise water as far as the eye could see. When I swam I bit further out I got to a nice little cave and a rock wall that I climbed over and over again before junping back into the water at 8-9 meters height. The three days spent in Corfu has treated me nice and I will no longer say that I will never go on a chartertrip to Greece.